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Rural Veterans Coordination Program

Did you know the Rural Veterans Coordination Program (RVCA) is taking the extra step to give veterans in rural communities better access to the healthcare and other benefits they are entitled to due to their service to the country?

       

The program offers easier access to disability compensation, education and training, life insurance, home loans, healthcare and any sort of additional information that vets may be seeking by offering a community representative to be able to better explain the sometimes extensive amount of government paperwork.

    

The RVCP is responsible for locating veterans in rural communities and assisting them in any way possible to receive the benefits awarded to those who serve more than 180 days in the Armed Forces by providing a wide array of information.

   

    

  

  

  

  

  

  

   

       

Individual Unemployability Explained

Did you know the literature is clear, a veteran who is in receipt of Individual Unemployability (IU) benefits may work as long as it is not considered substantially gainful employment?  The employment a veteran holds must be considered marginal employment. Substantially gainful employment is defined as employment at which non-disabled individuals earn their livelihood with earnings comparable to the particular occupation in the community where the veteran resides. Marginal employment is generally deemed to exist when a veteran’s earned income does not exceed the amount established by the U.S. Census Bureau as the poverty level for the veteran only. If a veteran is approved by the VA for IU, not only do they receive the 100% service-disabled rate of pay but they may also receive additional benefits including health insurance for their dependents, Property Tax Credit, a service-disabled Military ID card and a $10,000 life insurance policy with a waiver on monthly premiums.

    

New Website for Dependents

Did you know the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has created a new internet website for surviving spouses and dependents of military personnel who died on active duty and for survivors and dependents of veterans who died after leaving the service?  The site is organized into two broad categories-death in service and death after service. It provides visitors with information and about a wide range of benefits for surviving spouse, dependent children, and dependent parents of diseased veterans and active duty personnel. The site also has information from, and links to, other federal agencies and organizations that offer benefits and services to survivors and dependents. The new website can be found at here.

      

When To Reopen A Claim

Did you know if changes are made to the current presumptive disability list, a veteran could reopen a claim at any time, and at no charge?  Getting assistance from a competent VSO may be beneficial.

     

Check Status of Your Claim Online

Did you know for the first time in the history of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), veterans may now use their My HealtheVet credentials to access online services from across the VA’s complex web on Vets.gov. Essentially, all veterans who’ve registered with MyHealtheVet can easily logon with their userID and password, to refill a prescription, make an appointment, check their claim status, check status of an appeal, and apply for benefits that help them pay for college and VA training programs.

     

  

  

  

 

  

  

 

 

PDBR Mandates Disability Reevaluation

Did you know many medically-discharged veterans who had their disability rating "low-balled" by their service branch may be missing out on an opportunity to have their disability upgraded?  In 2009 Congress mandated that a Physical Disability Board of Review (PDBR) be formed to reevaluate the disability ratings of up to 71,000 veterans. However, to date only about 19,000 of the eligible veterans have applied for a review.

     

See a certified VSO for consultation.

    

Pharmacy Relief Disaster Plan

Did you know during natural disasters, when medical centers are closed or too difficult to access, VA will activate the Pharmacy Disaster Relief Plan?   This allows veterans with a VA ID card to take either a written prescription or an active VA prescription bottle to specific locations and receive a 14-day supply of medication. 

Did You Know?

Burial Benefits For Dependents

Did you know the majority of veterans who didn't receive a dishonorable discharge are eligible for a burial benefit?  A dependent spouse or dependent child of a veteran is also eligible and, in some cases, an unmarried adult dependent child of a veteran is eligible for burial benefits.  An experience VSO will know how to get this done.

    

Memorial Web Page

Did you know National military cemetery burials include a dedicated memorial web page for veterans? Family members can visit the veteran’s dedicated page and post photos, documents or memories in what is called the “Veterans Legacy Memorial.”  By Veterans Day, November 11, 2021, the National Cemetery Administration (NCA) hopes that pages will be expanded to include those interred at state, territorial and tribal cemeteries.

      

   

    

  

    

   

  

  

  

        

VA First To Order

Did you know the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will require more than 115,000 of its frontline health care workers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus in the next two months?  Making VA the first federal agency to mandate that employees be inoculated.  The move comes as concern is growing that the substantial portion of the population that has not been vaccinated is contributing to the rapid spread of the highly contagious Delta variant. 

       

Amazon Wants Veterans

Did you know Amazon recently announced a commitment to hiring 100,000 veterans and military spouses over the next two and a half years?  The retail giant hopes to hire about 84,000 veterans and 16,000 military spouses by 2024.

     

   

   

   

   

  

  

  

  

   

      

Direct Deposit Program for Veterans

Did you know the VA established the Veterans Benefits Banking Program (VBBP) in December 2019 to assist veterans with the ease of banking direct deposit?  So far, more than 75,000 veterans have signed up to receive their VA benefits through direct deposit instead of pre-paid debit cards or paper checks.

    

Helping Returning Veterans

Did you know American Corporate Partners (ACP) is a national nonprofit organization that helps returning veterans and active duty spouses with career transitions after the military through one-on-one mentoring, networking and online career advice?  They connect veterans to job opportunities in the corporate sector and other career development opportunities. 

        

Increase In Benefits Approval

Did you know more veterans who submit compensation claims based on sexual assaults during their military service are receiving benefits?  VBA grant rates for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related to military sexual trauma increased by approximately 22 percentage points since 2015.  This year, the grant rate for conditions related to military sexual trauma (MST) is at 72%, up from 50% in 2015 and 68% in 2020. As of April 30, 2021, 88,875 veterans were service-connected for MST-related PTSD, with 67% of those rated 70% or higher.

    

Revised Benefits Form

Did you know VA issued a revised Form 10-10EZ, Application for Health Benefits effective July 2021?  The changes include a question concerning whether the application was for enrollment purposes or for registration.  Enrollment signifies that the applicant must meet the eligibility requirements including the financial income “means test,” while registration assumes that the veteran is eligible for VA health benefits for other reasons such as those listed in the instructions for sections IV-VI, and therefore, does not have to meet the income “means test.”   Other changes give the applicant the option of identifying their birth sex in question 3A, or their self-identified gender identity in question 3B. "Self-Identified Gender Identity." The options are male, female, transmale/transman/female-to-male, transfemale/transwoman/male-to female or choose not to answer.